Tag Archives: Mammoth Hot Springs

April 26, 2016 Angels Landing, Zion National Park.

10 Favorite National Park Adventures With Kids

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By Michael Lanza

The crowning achievement of our National Park System is that we have preserved such uniquely beautiful and significant pieces of nature in perpetuity. But the payoff for America’s foresight in creating and expanding the system is a lifetime’s worth of unforgettable experiences awaiting us in these places—many of them entirely accessible, safe, and really fun for families with kids in a range of ages, from very young to teenagers. Here are 10 favorites selected from among the many trips I’ve taken. Continue reading →

April 22, 2016 Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park.

Photo Gallery: The Ultimate Family Tour of Yellowstone

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By Michael Lanza

Discard all of your preconceived notions about our first national park: that Yellowstone’s crowded with too many car-bound tourists, that it lacks the mountain scenery of other parks, that it’s a drive-through park. Seeing one of America’s last remaining refuges for virtually all of the mega-fauna that existed before European settlement, and one of the planet’s best collections of geysers and other thermal features (not to mention some amazing waterfalls), is not some gimmicky theme-park attraction—it is fascinating for adults and kids, as I think you’ll find this photo gallery illustrates. Continue reading →

January 12, 2016 Lower Yellowstone Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park.

Video: Cross-Country Skiing in Yellowstone

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By Michael Lanza

Consider these statistics: Yellowstone National Park receives about four million visitors a year. Ninety percent of them see the park between May and September. Less than four percent of visitors come between December and March. And yet, in many respects, winter is the best time of year to see Yellowstone: Wildlife congregate at lower elevations, making them easier to see (except bears, of course), waterfalls form towering columns of ice (like 308-foot Lower Yellowstone Falls, in the lead photo, above), and the geysers and other thermal features take on a different character when the landscape grows hushed under a thick blanket of snow.

Plus, you can see the park’s major features, like the Upper Geyser Basin—home to Old Faithful and one-fourth of the active geysers in the world (and the greatest concentration of them)—on skis. Cross-country skiing groomed trails in Yellowstone, many of which are beginner- and family-friendly, is one of the coolest experiences in the National Park System. Continue reading →

December 14, 2015 Half Dome, Liberty Cap, and Nevada Fall seen from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

My Top 10 Family Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

How many outdoor trips do you have on the calendar for 2017 already? I have four (with others in active planning stages)—and three of those are with my family. In fact, planning months in advance and involving my family are my first two rules for getting outside more. For me, this is the time of year for pulling out maps, researching online and in guidebooks, and poring over my list of adventures I want to take—which is now nearly 18,000 words long and growing. I need to get busy—and so do you.

To help you out with ideas and inspiration for next year, here are My Top 10 Family Adventures at The Big Outside, a list that includes seven national parks, three amazing paddling adventures, four trips that should be on every backpacker’s to-do list, hiking an active volcano, and cross-country skiing amid the greatest concentration of active geysers in the world. Continue reading →

May 7, 2013 Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Ask Me: The Ultimate Family Tour of Yellowstone

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Hi Michael-

My husband and I live in Missoula with our two boys, ages three and five. We are spending three nights in Yellowstone over Mother’s Day weekend, and it will be our kids’ first visit. Two questions: Any particular Y’stone books you recommend for kids? Also, this is a bit of a silly question, but are there any sites or activities that were unexpectedly or just especially fun? Continue reading →

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